Tazewell Taxpayers Trounced by Government Pensions

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East Peoria, IL – Taxpayers United of America (TUA) has released its most recent government pension study exposing individual pensions for Tazewell County government retirees, as well as Pekin municipal, Tazewell County and Tazewell County government schools, Illinois Central College, and Pekin police and fire retirees.
“There are more than 30 government teachers in Tazewell County collecting annual pensions in excess of $100,000. These lavish, gold-plated pensions all accumulate to $1 million to $5.2 million over a normal lifetime. These pensions are so rich for a number of reasons: 3% compounded cost of living increases, regardless of economic conditions, receiving full retirement benefits as early as 55 years old, taxpayer contributions that exceed teacher contributions by nearly four times,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
Across the five state pension funds and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), there are more than 15,661 government pensioners collecting six-figure annual pensions and more than 92,386 retirees collecting over $50,000 annually and those pensions increase by 3% compounded every year for each of the pension funds, except IMRF. After about 20 years, the pension doubles, so government retirees make more in retirement than they made when employed.
The median household income across Tazewell County is only $57,052 and the poverty rate is 9.6%.
“In the private sector, taxpayers are forced to pay 15% into Social Security for every dollar they earn, receiving an average annual pension of only $16,000! And yet for every dollar that government pensioners contribute to their own pensions, taxpayers are forced to pay $3.76. Imagine what kind of nest-egg taxpayers would have if we were allowed to invest what we are forced to pay into Social Security and the Illinois State government pension systems,” added Tobin.
“This should serve as a glaring warning to taxpayers who are concerned about their rising property taxes, as cities like Pekin and East Peoria in Tazewell County are forced, by law, to raise property taxes without a referendum to fund IMRF pensions,” said Tobin. “It’s legal plunder of hardworking taxpayers for the benefit of the political class.”
“The top estimated lifetime pension in this study of Tazewell County government retirees is $6,644,309. And the lucky recipient of this rich pension is John Erwin who retired from Illinois Central College with an annual pension of $188,064. His personal investment in this wealthy outcome is only about 4.8%.”
“The top annual pension award in Tazewell County goes to Thomas Thomas who, like John Erwin, retired from Illinois Central College at the age of 60. His current annual pension payment is $205,979. These annual payments will accumulate to about $4,872,095. His contributions constitute about 3% of this multi-million dollar payout.”
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“Tazewell County taxpayers need to fire all incumbent bureaucrats on November 8 who have voted to perpetuate this economically devastating system that benefits the few at great expense to the many,” said Tobin.
“Fixing this system is basically easy, but will never happen as long as those who are entrenched in its benefits remain in office: Transitioning new hires to 401(k)-style defined contribution pension plans would be a good start to halting the growth of the problem. As for the current unfunded liabilities, allowing municipalities, school districts, and other taxing districts to reorganize through Chapter 9 bankruptcy, or pursuing federal legislation to preempt the Illinois Constitution’s pension-protection clause, are both becoming very real possibilities if systemic reforms aren’t pursued soon,” said Tobin.
TUA’s most recent 10th Annual Illinois State Pensions Report contains additional data concerning the state’s government pension crisis and elaborates on further solutions to this long-term problem. Check out our list of 218 Illinois referenda to see if you are facing a local tax-increase referendum on November 8.

Referenda Watch 2016: Tax Hikes!

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Chicago — It’s that time of year again: when trees are aflame with fall colors, football is in full swing, the little goblins are blissfully anticipating the thought of mountains of candy, and…the government cabal is again reaching for your wallet!
Rather than cut spending to meet the existing revenue, hundreds of government agencies are expecting voters to approve measures that will steal even more of our hard-earned money.
In these difficult economic times, government school bureaucrats are seeking bond issues of gargantuan proportions to build new schools, athletic facilities, and other non-educational expenditures.
These bonds and the interest on the principle are paid by raising your property taxes.
Champaign Community Unit School District #4 is seeking an unbelievable $183.4 million in bond debt for building enhancements, additions, and even a new building. This is their third bite at the apple as referenda for $144 Million and $149 million have failed in the most recent elections.
If that isn’t bad enough, the Village of Round Lake Park is seeking a bond issue approval of $5.4 million to reduce the amount of unfunded pension liabilities for the police. Borrowing money to pay a debt is much like paying one credit card with another. This practice can lead to nothing but trouble for the taxpayers of Round Lake Park.
Overall, there are 218 tax-increase, advisory, and other miscellaneous referenda on the ballot for the general election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
Please check the list at the link below to see if you will be facing any of these referenda on your ballot. We need to send a loud and clear message to the government bureaucrats that we have had enough!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016 General Election Referenda
Taxpayers United has been fighting for taxpayers for over forty years. We have saved taxpayers billions of their hard-earned dollars by helping to defeat 420 local property tax increases since our founding in 1976.

Are Illinoisans Preparing for a Tax Revolt?

View as PDF Chicago — On October 12, 2016, dozens of Illinois taxpayers from Taxpayers United of America (TUA) and Illinois Tax Revolution (ITR) converged on the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to protest devastating property tax hikes, calling for immediate reforms at the local and state level.
ITR co-founders Bob Anderson of Wonder Lake, Joe Tirio of Woodstock, and Dan Aylward of McHenry have organized two previous tax protests since founding their new grassroots movement this past summer. They made headlines earlier this year when members of the newly formed group began paying the first and second installments of their property tax bills in dollar bills.
51440Working with TUA, both groups are pursuing systemic changes to local and state government in Illinois, including property tax relief, government pension reform, and consolidating school districts and the roughly 7,000 taxing bodies in Illinois, or eliminating some of them altogether.
“The Cato Institute recently published its annual Freedom in the 50 States analysis, and unfortunately for our residents, Illinois is ranked 44th for fiscal, regulatory, and personal freedom policies overall,” said Jared Labell, executive director of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).
“The study clearly explains why Illinois is one of the most fiscally irresponsible states today. Whether it’s regarding local taxes (ranked 49th), government subsidies (ranked 47th), government debt (ranked 44th), or overall fiscal policy (ranked 48th), Illinois’ state and local governments are getting away with highway robbery every day that they operate on taxpayers’ dollars without implementing long-lasting reforms to solve their perpetual fiscal nightmare.”
71438“Illinoisans’ residential property-tax burden has risen by 76 percent in the last quarter-century. In the span of just a few decades, residential taxpayers now pay more than two-thirds of all property taxes in Illinois, which has the second-highest residential property taxes in the country.”
“We are proud to be working alongside the members of Illinois Tax Revolution in our pursuit of rolling back property taxes, reforming government pensions, and eliminating financially burdensome and unnecessary taxing bodies in Illinois,” said Labell.
“Our concerns will be taken to Springfield during the fall veto session, and we intend to speak with the leadership of the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Rauner (R) to ensure that government officials hear our grievances loud and clear. With the help of our supporters and taxpayers across Illinois, there is no doubt that our message will be heard and addressed.”
“Nearly forty years after TUA’s founder and president, Jim Tobin, led his successful property tax strike, another tax revolt is on the horizon and portends to be more widespread. Taxpayer outrage can only be quelled by reducing the tax burden currently smothering average folks across Illinois,” said Labell. “The politicians would prefer that we remained silent, but we have a message for the taxpayers of Illinois: Taxes are revolting, why aren’t you?”